Dec 6, 2013 0
When JoS. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. released its third-quarter earnings this week, CEO R. Neal Black mentioned a recent increase in sales of slim-fit suits, as well as big and tall varieties. These special sizes are one of the company’s five key growth initiatives.
“Anything slim has been their fastest growth area for a couple years,” said Mark Montagna, analyst for Avondale customers who covers Jos. A. Bank. “That’s where the trend is, so it’s good for them.”
The special sizes have helped the company attract new customers, said Black.
Brian G. Rafn, principal at Morgan Dempsey, which owns Jos. A. Bank stock, said attracting new clientele is a good idea, as long as it’s not at the expense of the established shoppers.
“The story has been a switch to try to get a younger guy in the store … your Abercrombie & Fitch guy, that’s your high-testosterone 20-year-old,” said Rafn.
“The problem is the younger guy is unemployed, playing video games in his parents’ basement.”
Sure, Rafn isn’t suggesting that all of these trim-suit wearers are young fellas, and not all young men are unemployed. But he said the established customer with the thicker wallet should not go underserved.
“If you’re going it at the cost of not having inventory for the classic guy … then you’re losing money,” he said. “He’s not a rain-check guy.”
The benefit of attracting the younger customer with fashion-forward slim suits is longer-term, he said — getting them in early, motivating them to shop at Bank not only as the “high-testosterone guy” but later on as the “classic guy.”
In the meantime, perhaps the company can sell a few more suits to another fella: the trendy guy.